John McCaslin

"Only whistleblowers can explain why something is wrong and provide the best evidence to prove it," he says. He credits whistleblowers for uncovering the infamous $700 toilet seats purchased by the Pentagon, for instance, and more recently for explaining how the Food and Drug Administration missed the boat and approved Vioxx.

But "the grandfather of all whistleblowers," Mr. Grassley reveals, is Ernie Fitzgerald, a Defense Department auditor of about 30 years who once noted that "for committing truth," whistleblowers "are about as welcome as a skunk at a Sunday afternoon picnic with the bureaucracies they are within."

Normandy invasion

Don't look now, but Francis X. "Finn" Wentworth Jr., the former president and chief operating officer of the holding company of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, is busy buying up Washington.

Not to worry, Mr. Wentworth isn't purchasing the Washington Nationals, Wizards and Capitals. Rather, the co-founder and managing principal of Normandy Real Estate Partners has acquired numerous large office complexes on Capitol Hill (the 12-story Capitol Place III, one block from Union Station), in Arlington (Quincy Crossing near the Pentagon), in the high-tech corridor surrounding Tysons Corner (Northridge I, home to Time Warner Cable and the Small Business Administration) and Chantilly (Stoneleigh I and II in Westfields).

Normandy, it turns out, owns one of the largest diversified portfolios in the Boston-to-Washington corridor. Headquartered in Morristown, N.J., it has offices in Boston, New York and Washington.

The company caught our eye being listed as one of the sponsors of the 18th annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Real Estate Games, to be held June 14 on the American University campus. More than 1,300 local commercial real-estate representatives participate in the Olympic-style competition, last year raising $386,000 for diabetes research.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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